SIQUIJOR, Siquijor, Nov. 26 (PIA) -- Two hundred sixty Siquijodnon farmers received more than P10 million worth of interventions for livestock (cattle and goat) and poultry (chicken) production projects from the Department of Agriculture-Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Program.
This move aims to provide an additional source of income through sustainable enterprise, said Information Officer Designate Mary Jane Banglos of the DA-Provincial Agriculture Technology Coordinating Office (PATCO).
The DA-SAAD Program through Siquijor local government unit (LGU) distributed the inputs under the FY 2019 Livestock Production Project and FY 2020 Chicken Egg Production Project.
Banglos said the first batch of the intervention consisting of 60 heads of cattle, 120 goats, 50 modules of ready-to-lay chicken, and drugs and biologics were first received by 175 farmer beneficiaries in October.
Another 85 farmers under the Upgraded Livestock Production project received the intervention in November.
Under the Upgraded Cattle Breeder Production project, 100 farmer beneficiaries will receive one upgraded cattle and four bags of feeds.
Five goats (one buck and four does) will also be given to 60 identified farmer beneficiaries under the Upgraded Goat Production project with feeds, she said.
"Most of the farmers involved in livestock production have meager income. Because of the increasing price of biologics and veterinary drugs, a number of their existing livestock have died from diseases," said DA-SAAD Provincial Coordinator Agnes Guanella Cafe.
Drugs and biologics worth P400,000 were also made available for the farmers.
"Daku kaayo namong pasalamat nga nakadawat mi aning baka gikan sa DA-SAAD. Akong ipana-ad nga kining akong nadawat ako ning atimanon aron manganak ug mulambo (We are very grateful of the DA-SAAD Program. We promise we will take of this project and make it grow)," said Maria Helen Capundag of Brgy. Catulayan, San Juan who received one cattle.
On the status of livestock and poultry production in the province, Agricultural Provincial Coordinating Officer Gregolito Bunado said that based on the statistics released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) in September 2021, livestock and poultry population were not that promising.
"Hinay kaayo atong production sa livestock and poultry (Production is very low)," he said.
For cattle, it has increased by only 0.80%, from 20,517 in 2019 to 21,912 in 2020, while production has increased by 4.06% from 24,245 to 25,230.
While production is low, shipment of livestock outside the island is fast at an average of 111 heads of cattle and 87goats in a month, Bunado noted.
"Naa'y times nga maapil ug baligya sa atong mga farmers ang ilang mga breeders tungod pud sa pinansyal nga panginahanglanon. Usa pud na sa mga rason nganong hinay atong production (There are times that our farmers sell even the breeders because of their necessities, the reason why we have lower production)," added Bunado.
Based on data from the Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO), shipment of goats could go as high as 500 heads, but it is cattle that are shipped outside of Siquijor regularly every month of not less than 100 heads.
Bunado further said this is the reason why DA is investing in breeding projects.
"With the interventions we're giving to the farmers, hopefully, we can see a significant increase of our livestock in the next two years, the least. Hangyo lang natu sa beneficiaries nga ila gyud ning atimanon aron makab-ot natu ang goal ani nga project and hopefully, dili ma-apil ug baligya ang breeders para padayun ang atong production (We only ask the beneciaries to make good of this project so we can reach our goal and hopefully, they will not sell the breeders to continue with the production),"continued Bunado.
The Chicken Egg Production Project amounting to P4.6 million were given to 100 farmer beneficiaries of the six municipalities, namely: Enrique Villanueva (10), Larena (12), Lazi (22), Maria (18), San Juan (16), and Siquijor (22).
This layer chicken comes with a cage, seven bags of feeds, and egg trays.
Joy Daulong and Ellen Manos, who both received one module (48 birds) of layer chicken from Sawang, Maria both expressed their gratitude for receiving the project.
Based on livestock statistics from PSA, the number of layer chickens has decreased by -15.09%, from 13,011 in 2019 to 11,048 in 2020. (RAC/PIA-7 Siquijor with reports from Mary Jane Banglos, DA-PATCO)